Program Linked to Lower Health Costs in CAD Patients

Secondary prevention program is run by clinical pharmacy specialists, registered nurses

MONDAY, Nov. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Among patients with coronary artery disease, participating in a secondary prevention program featuring a clinical pharmacy specialist and registered nurse is associated with lower health care expenditures, according to research published in the November issue of Pharmacotherapy.

Thomas Delate, Ph.D., of Kaiser Permanente Colorado in Aurora, and colleagues analyzed data from 628 patients who had a coronary event and were enrolled in the Collaborative Cardiac Care Service (CCCS) -- which is managed by a clinical pharmacy specialist and registered nurse -- and were matched to 628 patients not enrolled in the CCCS. The primary outcome was total medical and pharmacy expenditures per follow-up day.

The researchers found that cardiac and all-cause deaths were less likely in the CCCS group (12 and 16 in the CCCS group versus 98 and 188 in the other group). After adjusting for a number of variables, total health care expenditures per day were $59.36 lower for the CCCS group.

"Despite targeting ambulatory patients, the CCCS interventions were associated with lower health care resource utilization in inpatient and outpatient hospitalizations and medical office visits. Thus, substantial investments in early treatment initiation, aggressive drug dosage titration to achieve treatment goals, and ensuring longitudinal adherence with evidence-based secondary prevention treatment recommendations appear to pay even more substantial dividends by reducing the greatest cost driver -- cardiac-related health care," the authors conclude.


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